Armed bystanders kill shooter at Oklahoma City restaurant

Armed bystanders gunned down a shooter Thursday at an Oklahoma City restaurant, killing him, police said.A man...

Posted: May 26, 2018 9:46 AM
Updated: May 26, 2018 9:46 AM

Armed bystanders gunned down a shooter Thursday at an Oklahoma City restaurant, killing him, police said.

A man opened fire with a handgun in Louie's Grill & Bar, striking three people inside the restaurant from a position outside the front door, Oklahoma City Police Capt. Bo Mathews told reporters.

As the gunman ran from the scene, two bystanders got their own handguns from the trunks of their vehicles, then confronted and fatally shot the attacker outside the restaurant, Mathews said Friday.

"They were able to shoot this suspect and put an end to this very dangerous situation," Mathews said, adding that the men -- Carlos Nazario, 35, and Bryan Wittle, 39 -- did not know each other. It's not clear who fired the fatal shot. Police initially said only one man fired on the attacker.

The bystanders' actions were "well within their legal rights" and likely would be protected by good Samaritan laws, Mathews said. He deferred a final call to the Oklahoma County district attorney, whose staff did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

"These guys were protecting somebody else's life," the police captain said. "You can say they are heroes."

The attacker was identified by police as Alexander C. Tilghman, 28, of Oklahoma City.

"It doesn't look like he knew anybody at the restaurant," Mathews said, adding that Tilghman had no known history of mental illness and appears to have acted alone. The motive remains unknown.

The three who were wounded remain in good condition Friday, police said.

NRA lauds armed defenders, slams governor

The National Rifle Association quickly seized on the incident as "just another example of how the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," according to a tweet. The powerful gun rights lobbying group commonly touts the mantra as part of its strategy in the wake of gun violence to identify ways -- apart from restricting firearms -- to enhance public safety.

The NRA also took a swipe at Gov. Mary Fallin, who two weeks ago vetoed a bill that would have made Oklahoma the 13th state to let residents carry guns without a permit.

In explaining her veto, Fallin, a Republican, noted that the bill would have eliminated firearms training requirements and softened background check rules.

The bill "eliminates the current ability of Oklahoma law enforcement to distinguish between those carrying guns who have been trained and vetted, and those who have not," Fallin said, according to a statement.

'They had taken him down'

When gunfire erupted Thursday at Louie's, in northwest Oklahoma City, "it sounded like, you know, any kind of restaurant noise, a rack of plates crashing ... glass breaking," Ron Benton, who was inside the cafe when the shooting began, told CNN affiliate KFOR.

"But it was followed by a pop pop pop sound, and a wall of people started making their way to the floor, and making their way around to the backside of the bar," he said.

When the shooting stopped, Benton and some friends headed to Louie's parking lot. They spotted the gunman walking on a sidewalk, he said.

"He was just a 20-something-year-old kid," Benton said, "Didn't look very old. He was wearing ear protection and eye protection that you would have at a shooting range."

Then, Benton told KFOR, he saw a car circle back after exiting Louie's parking lot.

"A guy jumped out of it and went for the back of his vehicle. I just assumed maybe it was an off-duty officer or something like that," he said. "It was just the way he moved, whoever it was. He just appeared to be somebody who had some training, some weapon training."

Benton pointed the man toward the suspect, he recalled.

"They were like, 'Stop! Stop! Stop! Please! Put the gun down! Please put the gun down!' And I was pointing at him, I was like, 'Down! Put it down! Put it down!' and they wound up exchanging fire," Benton told KFOR.

The gunman, he said, wouldn't drop his weapon.

"I popped my head up, and they had taken him down," Benton said.

'Very odd to be in the middle of it'

Four people were injured during the shooting, including a woman and a girl who were shot inside Louie's while celebrating a birthday, CNN affiliate KOCO reported. They were hospitalized, said Mathews, the police captain.

Another woman also was wounded by gunfire, and a man fell and broke his arm after Tilghman began his assault, police said.

Police detained "a large number of witnesses" and, early on, said there was no indication of terrorism

"It's like, every day you hear the same story," Benton told KFOR. "But it was just very odd to be in the middle of it."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515208

Reported Deaths: 10290
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34981557
DeSoto33342432
Hinds32718643
Jackson24896391
Rankin22553404
Lee16439245
Madison14949283
Jones14155248
Forrest13829260
Lauderdale12305324
Lowndes11348193
Lamar10687140
Pearl River9739244
Lafayette8867143
Hancock7847132
Washington7555169
Oktibbeha7228138
Monroe7055179
Pontotoc7026110
Warren6883178
Panola6783135
Neshoba6740210
Marshall6705142
Bolivar6468151
Union642898
Pike5941157
Alcorn5912107
Lincoln5539136
George510680
Prentiss507785
Tippah495483
Itawamba4877107
Scott478799
Adams4775125
Tate4774117
Leflore4747144
Copiah458095
Yazoo457892
Simpson4565117
Wayne443472
Covington434895
Sunflower4318106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4243109
Leake414090
Newton396082
Tishomingo386194
Grenada3786109
Stone365966
Jasper341266
Attala339590
Winston317992
Chickasaw317667
Clay312778
Clarke301695
Calhoun286349
Holmes272589
Smith269952
Yalobusha244647
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220241
Perry214456
Amite210257
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175241
Jefferson Davis174043
Tunica163539
Benton153239
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134639
Humphreys132239
Franklin126430
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson96934
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 847064

Reported Deaths: 16157
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1163702006
Mobile743001381
Madison53394737
Shelby38395371
Baldwin38140589
Tuscaloosa36096642
Montgomery34535782
Lee25639264
Calhoun22620519
Morgan22503408
Etowah20043520
Marshall18812317
Houston17754425
St. Clair16928358
Limestone16178220
Cullman16113304
Elmore15927295
Lauderdale15042307
Talladega14234301
DeKalb13033270
Walker12119380
Blount10756193
Autauga10531157
Jackson10191195
Coffee9431192
Colbert9356210
Dale9035192
Tallapoosa7283202
Russell709665
Chilton7077170
Escambia6961144
Covington6956195
Franklin6355108
Chambers5791142
Marion5428130
Dallas5299210
Pike5124109
Clarke485586
Lawrence4841130
Winston4784110
Geneva4649136
Bibb435294
Barbour370080
Butler3445101
Marengo342793
Monroe338066
Randolph337367
Pickens334689
Fayette331385
Henry320866
Cherokee319563
Hale318589
Crenshaw261577
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253355
Clay251669
Macon245465
Conecuh193262
Coosa185647
Lowndes178268
Wilcox178138
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139741
Greene130245
Choctaw93328
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 60°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 61°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: °
Starkville
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 55°
Rain coming in this weekend as a cold front moves through the area bringing cooler temperatures on into the start of next week.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather